SGDaily Roundup: Week 9

Budget 2008
– The Online Citizen: Reflections on Budget 2008
– Diary of A Singaporean Mind: Lucky to be a citizen of an affluent island..
– Balderdash: …interesting nuggets about tax relief
– Sgpolitics.net: Budget 2008 highlights
– The Daily Backtrack: The Auntie’s View on the Budget
– Mr Wang Says So: The Government Missed By $7,150,000,000. Just Another Honest Mistake
– The Online Citizen: Bitter medicine prescription – with a little spin thrown in
– Sgpolitics: Parliamentary snapshots (25 and 26 Feb 08)
– BothSidesOfTheJohorStraits: …Ministry of Finance should be replaced by a bunch of dart-throwing chimps!
– Singapore Patriot: Bring back our 5% GST, Tharman
– My Singapore News: A $6.4b happy mistake
– utopia: 2008 budget…what did they say again?
– Siew Kum Hong: Budget 2008: Speech on Budget Statement, 26 February 2008
– e pur si muove: Acidflask’s summary of Budget Speech 2008 [Recommended]
– Diary of A Singaporean Mind: What is your problem, Sylvia Lim?
– Nomed Letters: Now we got more money for…
– Hear Ye! Hear Ye!: Home ownership as a hedge against inflation
– Sgpolitics: Parliamentary snapshots (26 and 27 Feb 08)
– The States Times: A Fishy Story
– Siew Kum Hong: Speech by Minister Tharman: 27 February 2008
– Sgpolitics: My take on the Parliamentary debates for 25,26 Feb
– The Online Citizen: Government fees freeze doesn’t address real concerns [Recommended]

Prison Break, Singapore Style
– Random Thoughts Of A Free Thinker: CNA: “JI detainee Mas Selamat Kastari escapes from Singapore detention centre”!?
– Singapore Patriot: Terrorist leader escapes from Singapore detention centre
– Simply Jean: Tons of Special Operations Command forces spotted near SCGS
– Unfortunately Singapore: JI Detainee Escapes: State Not Intrusive Enough?
– Used Brains for Sale: Great, Now They’ll Start Checking My Shoes
– Xy Mudane Life: Highly Wanted Man Escapes
– Nomed Letters: Who let the prisoner out?!
– Singapore Life and Times: Toilet tales
– Hard Hitting in the Lion City: JI leader escape in Singapore
– Simply Jean: Security lapse led to JI militant escape, taichi, and other stuffs in Singapore and the region
– The Online Citizen: “Limping Terorist” escapes – 10 questions for Wong Kan Seng
– Singapore Patriot: Mas Selamat’s prison break: Some questions for Home Affairs Minister
– Where Bears Roam Free: The Great Escape or the Great Decoy?
– Chemical Generation Singapore: An Apology Means Little Until the Escaped Terrorist is Caught
– This lush garden within: Poor security at Singapore’s Internal Security Department
– The States Times: “The Fugitive” Rerun
– BothSidesOfTheJohorStraits: Did Mas ‘breakout’, or is this a cover-up? A conspiracy-theorist’s fantasy that is good enough for Hollywood?
– Thrills, spills & flatliners: You Gotta be Kidding
– Bad News on the Doorstep: My Top 5 Gahmen Boo Boos
– Her Gestures: Mission Possible. JI detainee Mas Selamat Kastari escapes from Singapore detention centre.
– Thoughts and Pieces: Escapes of Selamat Kestari
– Military Life: The SAF and SPF are truly lumber 1!
– Alice Cheong in Wonderland: Consolidation of articles on escaped JI leader saga
– Earth@sg: Ji Terrorist leader escapes from Whitely Road Prison
– Coffee Shop Talk: JI Detainee Escapes From Whitley!
– SPUG: Singapore’s most wanted militant escaped from the Whitley Road detention centre today
– HWZ: JI detainee escapes from detention centre

The Great Escape
– Little Speck: The exodus continues
– Yawning Bread: Daydreams of a way station
– Singapore Election Watch: Goodbye and thank you
– THE armchair critic: I’m a Singaporean, merely by birth

The Inconvenient Truth
– catherinelim.sg: Singapore: The Inconvenient Truth
– Nomed Letters: The Hypocrisy of Established Individuals

Freedom, Choice and a place for my Voice
– Pseudonymity: CASE Gets To Do It Again While SDP Gets Rejected
– The GP Tutor: Minister of Home Affairs: Media Censorship in Singapore – Role played by the Government
– To Fix a Mocking Peasant: Liberalization and the Singaporean Absurd (Disturbingly Funny) [Recommended]
– The Anti Neo-Democracy Theorist: Relaxation of Overseas Voting – Fostering Participation or Creating Pipedreams?

Singaporeans are fed, up with progress!
– Simply Jean: Singapore’s middle “sandwich” class is really very well to do…
– My Singapore News: When the music stops?
– Sophie’s World: Inflationary Asia
– Diary of A Singaporean Mind: Inflation, Inflation, Inflation..

Singapore Wins 2010 Youth Olympics Bid
– Where Bears Roam Free: Youth Olympics – Victory for Singapore or 2011 Election prop for PAP?
– Sam’s Thoughts: The rhetoric of the Youth Olympics
– rynowned: My take on SYOG 2010
– Singapore Life and Times: Your house my home
– BothSidesOfTheJohorStraits: Singapore 2010: a mini-curse in disguise for the PAP?

REeducation
– Beyond SG: Of Scholars and Scholarships
– Stresed Teacher: Am I Now A Researcher Too?

The Phantom Menace. PAP mole in the mist?
– Nomed Letters: The Power of Money: From Opposition to Budget 2008 [Recommended]
– The Wayang Party Club of Singapore: Embattled TOC unleashing its ferocious “internet brigade” on critics

CPF & Annuities
– The Online Citizen: CPF Life – does it really address retirement needs?
– Random Rants: CPF Tweaks – Compulsory Annuity Scheme (2)

GIC, Temasek Spending Spree
– The Age: Child-care giant faces break-up [largest shareholder Temaseklast year paid $400 million for a 12% stake] [Thanks Simon]

Strangers in a strange land
– Sgpolitics: Dr Wong Wee Nam: Why Do We Need 6.5 Million People?

Housing
– The Online Citizen: Homeless soon, thanks to HDB

Healthcare
– Insane Polygons: Life, Basketball and A Tub of Haagen Dazs

InteresThink
– Ong Jiin Joo: Interesthink @ ThePod, Climax, The Lunch

Singapore Airshow 2008
– Die neue Welle: Propaganda?
– Jialat dot Com: Why the hell I toutured myself visiting the fiacking airshow?
– Weikiat.NET: Singapore Airshow 2008

Daily Discourse
– Musings: Better Hours for Doctors?
– Rat in the Lab: A*STAR/NTU Visiting Science Writer-in-Residence Programme
– Singapore Angle: Dansong’s Angle Ticker: Budget Sandwich, Satyr Fencing, Green Hypocrisy
– The sometimes damsel in distress: On scantily-clad women and prostitutes
– The annotated budak: Cleaners walk out
– Diary of A Singaporean Mind: Obama is not fit to lead!!!
– Nomed Letters: Left Pocket In, Right Pocket Out: Purchases of GIC and Temasek
– The States Times: Selling Snake Oil
– The Rot Within: ST Against Obama?
– catherinelim.sg: A challenge for the future: Democratising the Lee Kuan Yew model of governance?
– The Maxima: How to systematically develop creativity in Singapore?
– In Search of Goh Bock Seng: Unfair to compare Low Thia Kiang with Malaysian opposition leader Lim Kit Siang
– nofearSingapore: Letter about Parkway Novena Hospital

Life, the universe and everything
– Ian On The Red Dot: How To Tell If A Girl Will Have Sex With You
– SG_Ljers: more about that LIME CD Compilation
– Marina’s Bloggariffic: An Evening of Southeast Asian Music and Dance
– Hear Ye! Hear Ye!: What’s wrong with women expecting some chivalry?
– Ian On The Red Dot: The Internet As A Confession Booth & Place To Release Trapped Emotions
– Simple is the Reason of My Heart: Best Practices in Corporate Blogging
– The armchair critic: Hi I’m from ACS, I must be a hunk…
– Ian On The Red Dot: Singapore Has Our Own Improv Everywhere Inspired Group

Infoblogoramus
– The FØØL’s Progress: Anime Screening @ NUS Arts Fest

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32 Responses to SGDaily Roundup: Week 9

  1. Darkness says:

    YOU MAY BE WHAT YOU EAT! BUT YOU ARE CERTAINLY WHAT YOU THINK – UNPLUGGING THE NLB HUBRIS – PART 1

    I have to be very careful (so I have been told) what I write here as it can very well end up in someone’s book, so I need to first state very clearly that whatever I say here will be dated and eventually copyrighted by Dotty and her friends – Q: Is it true that the reaction to the NLB’s move were muted in Blogosphere? Yes, that cannot be denied, but why? As one poster said here a while ago, ‘an oppositional writer also requires an oppositional readership.’ Now as far as observations go, this is probably one of the most astute in this debate, as it manages to successfully compress meaning into one compact pill; this observation is truer than true as this whole NBL thing is missing one vital ingredient; a genuinely alarmed public. Why? Now we can forward many reasons to explain this, but if I had to draw out one main plank; it’s because most Singaporeans think of history ONLY in the abstract; we cannot really see how an account of today will affect tomorrow or impact our averagely miserable existence – we can certainly speculate no end why this is the case; but one thing holds true, while technology may have empowered most netizens with a voice, it should never be equated to métier – as the ‘means’ i.e technology has roughly the same utility as a kid ridding on his tricycle and throwing out daily reads in his neighborhood.

    Another observation that we may glean from the net; do I doubt for one moment there are profound reads in the net? No! Only what must be recognized is while there may be a dearth of academically slanted material to even elicit deep spirited understanding. Truth remains sites like Xiaxue and Mr Brown will always score a higher number hits when compared to social political blogs as they remain intellectually more accessible. This I feel is an observation that is never really discussed at any level of depth – now it would appear based on a cursory examination this is unusual or there is something wrong with our water supply, too much lead maybe (that could be why the Romans these days are no longer a super power). I don’t think so, when one compares these paltry figures with lets say attendances to Museums – the same phenomenon bears out pretty robustly for both the Louvre and the Tate, while paintings like the ubiquitous ‘Mona Lisa’ and the ‘Sun flower’ regularly attract a steady throng, the same cannot be said of lets say, the more serious and ‘worthy’ exhibits – it seems curious to me even as I write this, the most viewed site in the Louvre is not actually a painting but rather an architectural carbuncle, ‘Le Cour Napoléon’ (the glass pyramid) made famous in part by Dan Brown’s Da Vinci code – here on a good day, one can even hear fat Americans whispering, this is where Mrs Jesus is buried! What does this tell us? Apart from the fact statistically there will always be more dumb than intelligent folk? What this tells us is our understanding of history is essentially elastic, a product of fabrication rather than what we often tell ourselves, discernment; 60% of people actually believe Mrs Jesus is RIP in the Louvre. This brings me to my first point. While Dan Brown’s book is all in the spirit of mass entertainment, what’s important here is the same process can more or less be directed towards the serious enterprise of nation building, justifying the existence of oligarchy or even stamping out another competing narrative – here what we see is literature being tooled to serve an ‘imperialistic’ goal – to even impose a sense of reality on how we may even connect the dots – this may seem superfluous, but when one considers notions such as the ‘war on terror’ and how so many willingly surrendered their right to ‘think’ to the rhetoric of officialdom – it’s suggest ‘imperialism’ in this shape and form is very much alive and kicking these days. Think about it! Darkness 2008

  2. Darkness says:

    I would like to attribute this 3 part piece to the ADSF (Strategic Think Tank of the brotherhood) and two long time brotherhood readers, Montburan and LHL from the Siglap read club.

    I the next segment, what I will discuss is;

    (a) How can a story be tooled for Imperialistic goals?

    (b) What is the incentive for undertaking (a)?

    I feel some of you may be using this material to craft case study. I WOULD SERIOUSLY ADVISE YOU TO CHECK OTHER SITES SUCH AS THE SINGAPORE ANGLE AND CHERIAN GEORGE SITE TO GET A 360 DEGREE VIEW.

    ‘I am a simple man, if I dunno, I say, I dunno and I am not afraid to ask.’

  3. Darkness says:

    YOU MAY BE WHAT YOU EAT! BUT YOU ARE CERTAINLY WHAT YOU THINK – UNPLUGGING THE NLB HUBRIS – PART 2

    Let’s dive in! Question 2; how do fairy tales assume a form of imperialism? How’s that possible? Firstly, let’s move away from the assumption that ‘imperialism,’ ONLY requires armies, gun boats, overseers and brute force etc. Yes, that may be true in gaining a physical beach head during the initial stages, but when you consider the hard facts of sustaining imperialism as a form of statecraft; like only 3,000 British civil servants ruled over 250 million Indians during balmy afternoons when E.M Forster was penning, ‘Passage To Indian.’ The math just doesn’t add up. Something just doesn’t make sense. It suggest the ratio that imbues imperialism requires something more than just gunpowder, drill, discipline and the six shot repeating revolver, my point is this; these stuff are only the ‘hardware’ – what interest us for the purpose of this article is the role of the ‘software’ and more importantly it’s able to successful elicit compliance, self regulation and restraint which makes possible the whole idea of sustaining imperialism as a commercial enterprise (to the perceptive reader; you notice, like the first stage of a rocket peeling off, we have more or less jettisoned the military component) – this theory, requires us to take a closer look at the innards of imperialism, what if I said to you in it’s most refined, unalloyed and pure form imperialism is simply a state of mind? Think about it.

    Let agree on a few assumptions; what every form imperialism takes, it has to encapsulate at least two quite different but inter-related aspects which makes possible the whole idea of command and control; firstly, the idea that is based on the means (hardware) to take over territory; and finally, the means to manage (software) imperialism by developing a justificatory regime of self aggrandizing, self originating authority interposed between the victim of imperialism and its perpetrators.

    I would even go so far as to say, without a narrative which justifies these two aspects there can be no such thing as empire building, the whole idea of control and command would simply be an attritional impossibility – now viewed from this set of new eyes even something as benign as English literature can be tooled for imperialism. This may appear preposterous only if we continue to maintain, novels are simply the product of lonely geniuses working in their attics divorced completely from society, but how can that be? We would do well to remember that novels participate in, are part of, contribute to clarifying, reinforcing and in part even advancing a way of life that allows us to continually define organizational and personal success. Now if you think I am making a meal out an elephant, consider a relatively insipid and even benign yarn such as Robinson Crusoe; the story of an unfortunate English gentlemen who suddenly found himself stranded on an island in the equatorial sea with just his guli’s. No imperialism there, you say, only a man digging out eyes on coconuts to make imaginary friends in a vain attempt to survive against the odds, look again I see, this time using the X-ray glasses, I have given you – remember Friday, the native? What is the first thing, Robinson does when he encounters Friday? Before we zoom in, why Friday? Why not Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc – what we are witnessing here is nothing less than a form of literary pyrotechnics. In the book of Genesis, Friday was the day when God said, “Let us make man in our image …” Here what we are seeing is a compressed code that manages to articulates the whole idea of the imperial ethos; “I come so that you may have life.” The second thing that Robinson does is teaches Friday phonics, to paraphrase; he’s civilizing him! Once again what we are seeing here is the quintessential image of the Imperialistic narrative, the God man bringing law, order and structure into the heathen way of life; Does anyone even bother to ask Friday what’s that straw doll with needles hanging around his neck. No, that’s only a side dish, it’s given that Friday is more than willing to give up his pot in missionary for a second helping of shepherd’s pie. Friday even goes off with Robinson to God fearing olde wire brush England, what eventually happens to him? I have no idea. You all get my drift. It would seem this is theme is confined to only a genre of Imperial literature such as Jane Austen and EM Forster, but my point is, it isn’t, one sees the same theme being repeated again and again, even today only in this age, it takes the form of globalization, buying into a new world order. Or even some homily sugary idea, that if good manages to win over evil, then it must be by the narrowness of margins, that if you think you’re languishing, then there will always be others worst off than you (you better count yourself lucky!) – what we see here is not only the capacity of the narrative to impose it’s version of reality on an unassuming public, but more importantly, it’s capacity to kill and even suppress the counter-narrative, thereby allowing it assume primacy as the truth and nothing but the truth!

    Darkness 2008

  4. Darkness says:

    YOU MAY BE WHAT YOU EAT! BUT YOU ARE CERTAINLY WHAT YOU THINK – UNPLUGGING THE NLB HUBRIS – PART 3

    Now that we know that imperialism needs to be continually nourished; perpetuated and even venerated. This is the part where we are going to ask how is it done and more importantly why? One reason accounting for the reasons why people choose to carve out their respective niche in a domain and it doesn’t really matter whether it is in the real world, air waves or even in the internet, is because that’s one of the most efficient and effective method to guarantee their existence by supporting itself by direct exaction, either on the rest of society or on outsiders; hence every oligarchy eventually devolves into conservationism – you could even say, conservationism offers the best defensive strategy against extinction and contrary to popular myth it is not an accretion of being complacent. It is the reverse, conservatism introduces the ‘control’ element which makes imperialism possible by sanctioning codes and conduct, in other words, it ritualizes practices thus throwing a spanner into the whole process of change, thereby calcifying the existence of the status quo ante. That such transitions are necessary if a society is to evolve is given, but how it should evolve, the pace, trajectory and final direction MUST always controlled.

    We see this intensely conservative attitude in the Samurai’s and Manchus, the former banned gunpowder to promote the cult of the sword, the latter promoted a highly stylized system of public examinations to birth the class of the mandarins; in both cases; fear to tamper with anything in the system they control, lest in doing so they may bring the whole edifice crashing down preoccupied these planners; one derivative of conservatism, also requires the strict delineation of roles, codes and practices along with penalties for non compliance. In certain cases, these delineations serve a useful function; but for the most part they remain wholly facile as they need to suppress the broader world to promote their world view; it would seem this interplay of interest is confined to only the domain of the supra power and political world, but my point is it isn’t; even my vocation suffers in part from a certain degree of self imposed conservatism; for instance it makes light of MBA’s and management disciplines; why because the common lament among academics goes something like this; “there isn’t enough math and we know we cant do anything without math.” So what we have here is a deliberate delineation that attempts to distinguish “them from us,” that prioritizes form over function favoring the quantitative at the expense of the qualitative. To me these distinction are facile, but my opinion counts for squat here, my point is simply this, for conservatism to assume primacy, it must be able to set the Archimedean point – the vantage that allows it define, clarify and if possible even ascribe meaning and importance by mythologizing their locus. The same can be said for the way, some academics continually maintain the dichotomy between the MSM and the new media – IMO, the distinction exist only because social media ‘experts’ would have little to ruminate on if they were treated as one of the same reality. They would be relegated to explaining the predictable, an unrewarding and unrewarded task. By deliberately maintaining and even pre-forcing the distinction, it challenges them adequately to supply explanations for phenomenon which they have more or less prime; a worthy question; is whether Cherian would be able to write the things he does if both the MSM and net were simply treated as news generating platforms? This is a question I leave to you.

    What’s important here to illustrate clearly how power as a concept is inextricably tied to politics in so far as it’s able to set in place a sort of quorum that allows one medium to be promoted while vilifying another – this we have seen when the MSM constantly promoted Mr Brown and Xiaxue as the name and face of blogosphere – here what we see again is form of type-casting that is designed to promote the MSM at the expense of the net. The same can be said about why the LKY school decided to host Catherine Lim, it would appear it’s simply a logical extension, but what cannot be denied is it’s nothing short of an attempt to seize the high ground by creating an alternative avenue so that dissident voices can be removed from the net and controlled elsewhere? What about Eunice Olsen, we all know her mouth is only good for one functional purpose and her brain could just as well depart without doing her or her position any violence – why is she there? Who place her there? Why?

    It’s time to think – life cannot be so simple – Darkness 2008

    [I would like to thank the ladies of the Siglap Read Club for fleshing out this series]

  5. Mediawhore says:

    Darkness is so seductive!

    To me… Imperialism is ALL about sex!

  6. Global Gossip says:

    Shut up!

    You’re stealing my business!!

    I’m your pimp!! I have the right to pimp!!

  7. The Men's Gallery says:

    In this age of branding and PR, couldn’t you two stop bickering?

    Dear Darkness, my apologies.

  8. Darkness says:

    YOU MAY BE WHAT YOU EAT! BUT YOU ARE CERTAINLY WHAT YOU THINK – UNPLUGGING THE NLB HUBRIS – PART 4 [SUMMARY]

    This is the concluding segment in a four part series; the goal is to gather all the threads and hopefully summarize them into one understandable mass; if I am lucky, I would be able to pull this off without confusing myself along with you; I understand, the interplay between power and politics and how it gives rise and sustains imperialism may appear a tad lofty as what we seem to be doing so far is akin to moving chess pieces on a board far removed from everyday reality. That’s why; the goal here is to harmonize many of the concepts that I have attempted to elucidate by demystifying it to an understandable level whereby ordinary bloggers, readers and even pundits can more or less make sense of these highfaluting concepts;

    Let’s dive in. Question: how does power and politics in the context of imperialism affect me as an ordinary blogger? How can it possibly affect the ordinary act of reading blog material? How does it relate to understanding?

    It would appear judging from what some people regularly say, the net is necessary predisposed to some form of wisdom which allows it to continually winnow the wheat from the chaff, see here bullet point 4 http://bleongcw.typepad.com/simple_is_the_reason_of_m/2008/02/best-practices.html#more – this has been oftened described as “equilibrium” or in more prosaic terms, “wisdom of the crowd.” I just call it mumbo jumbo and making a big deal out of pig entrails. Unfortunately, that premise is flawed as it operates very much like the dreamy idea, “love will always find a way.” Truth of the matter remains just as there are many who have resigned themselves to be out of love in perpetuity, where power and politics dominate, there can really be NO such thing as a point of equilibrium, not the free market variety at least, that happy condition can only be realized, if we believe for one moment all the available information which makes possible pre-judgment, analysis along making an informed decision isn’t somehow manipulated, process and filtered somewhere along the informational supply chain.

    Here one should not pretend that models for a harmonious world order are readily at hand, and it would be equally disingenuous to suppose that ideas of peace and community have much of chance when power is moved to action in the name of “national” – “party politics” – “my-group” – “the mickey mouse club” of interest – we see this seat of aggression manifesting itself only too clearly in the US inspired war against Iraq, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap that freedom lies at the heart of this struggle, but the cold facts suggest, it’s simply an extension of Mathus theory (father of population theory) at work i.e man lives in an environment of resource scarcity forcing him to compete for diminishing resources i.e oil.

    The wonder of it is how that sort of parochial schooling is still able to thrive in this age to permeate something as sophisticated as geo-politics? Well the answer in part lies in what I shared with you all in segment 1,2 & 3 of this series; formalizing, ritualizing and stylizing the code of conduct of competition is in effect nothing short of another way to wage war; these days, it would appear that when governments speak of globalization, protecting the environment and a new order, they are leveraging on some utopian imagination; that may be true only, if we buy into the belief globalization doesn’t regularly throw up dilemmas that can be solved by off-the-shelf solutions; truth of the matter is while globalization is indeed a wealth generator; it remains a lousy means of distributing wealth, wealth is still concentrated in the pocket full of countries and in Asia, globalization has not only perpetuate family owned oligarchies, but have even stifled competition. For a large segment of the world, globalization remains a mirage, an unattainable dream that is largely driven not by common sense, but dogmatic convenience.

    So these are examples of what I call dogmatic conflicts; let us not digress as the nut we have to crack is the god of the small and relates to the issue of how even blogging can be affected by power and politics in the context of imperialism. Now it would appear that the act of writing and reading in blogosphere is essentially an exercise in the free market economy; this has often been forwarded by many in and outside the net; but nothing can be further from the truth. Anyone who has ever blogged knows the importance of links and how it’s able no direct readership to their blogs; Question: what do we have here? What is the co-relation between links and reading and writing? Where is the power and politics? And where specifically is the imperial component i.e the struggle for primacy?

    It would not be wrong for us to believe that the net is indeed a marvel, but what cannot be denied even by experts [the real experts!] these days is what essentially makes up it’s architectural attribution differs very little from the political science of irrigation societies, in this metaphor, readership can more or less be equated with water; canals and water ways represent the linkages – what we have here is an elaborate self sufficient community that is obliged to cooperate. Because of the tendency for the rivers to change their beds, irrigators have to manage a series of complex water gates, linking one system with another to manage the flow of water (readers) only then is it possible to enlarge the size of their settlements – it would appear in this happy compact between irrigator and crop holder, the former who is usually the aggregator can be relied upon to do a good job to make sure every crop holder gets enough water so that he is satisfied. The aggregator in this model can be used to described not only sites likes The Singapore Daily, TOC, Singapore Surf or any cyber entity that’s able to garner, channel and direct a significant number of readers. Neither is the metaphor confined to this world either, it can just as well migrate without too much violence to include the likes to the MSM or even the NLB and quasi-govt organizations like a school, institution or even include a political party – the key to understanding this model is to appreciate that these are essentially pumping stations, not dissimilar to the water wheels that ancient irrigation managers onced used to manage water resources. So for instance, when the MSM keeps promoting the cult of Mr Brown and Xiaxue, it’s fair to assume that a significant number of readers will migrate on-line to those sites – when TOC aggregates X,Y and Z blog on their sites – the same thing happens. What we have here is an ecology and it would appear everything should be hunky dory, but that utopian ideal has to give way sooner or later to the idea of power and politics, only because water as a resource is finite just as ‘collective consciousness’ or ‘one’s perception.’ For the ecology even one as primitive as a hydraulic society to sustain itself, it has develop ever more efficient means to manage resources. As we see with the Sumerians, empire building creeps in when the pump station managers begin to see that it pays for them to give more water to certain crop holders. We discussed this at length in segment 2 and to a lesser extent 3, when we highlighted two central problems that confronts every oligarchy; firstly how to sustain empire and secondly how to assure the loyalty of those who belong to it. The two are not only intimately connected, but that’s the basis for the right conditions for empire building to begin; as with all irrigation society what eventually happens with increased specialization of roles is at some point, these aggregators and pump house managers begin to start star gazing – it doesn’t take them very long to realize the ebb and flow of tides is intimately linked to the dance of heavenly bodies / when certain constellation line up, that’s the time for the river to flow the other way, or it’s the time for heavens to empty it’s bladder / along with all this temple building, mythologizing and ritualizing takes place till finally what we end up with is something that is completely different from the simplistic idea of an irrigation society, instead science gives way to myth; because the timing and volume of the flood’s annual arrival was ascribed to the favor and disfavor of the goods (who may actually be those who simply want to impose their version of reality!), this makes possible the first protocol of empire building; the notion of the super man, Aryan or as Neitche described the uberman whose capacity to make divine intercession progressively invest them with political power.

    What does this have to do with maintaining a blog or even reading it? The short answer is a lot, because now that we have gone behind the curtain and feasted our eyes on all the levers of power, we know that when we click on a site like TOC or even the Singapore Daily; or if you decide to read and click on a recommended website some reporter penned down; or even if you are just reading the brotherhood press; you know that it’s not that simple; here you have just stumbled on the very means by which all oligarchies perpetuate themselves; by imposing their version of reality on something as fragile as your mind. You are in essence not what you think as much as what you are directed to think – now that you know, you’re what you read, there’s no going back! Thank You – Darkness 2008

    END.

    [I wish to thank Harvardian and Dr Lee.T.B and the BB reader club for adding to this section – this has been brought to you by the Brotherhood Press 2008]

  9. Jediwhore says:

    Bravo, Darkness! Bravo!!!

    When’s your payment cuming??!

    I need, to eat.

  10. Janice Low says:

    Congratulations Darkness and all, this is a tour de force! If what you say holds true sir, then aren’t you saying in polite terms.

    1. TOC is a govt operated site. You mentioned the important role of aggregators or pumping stations as to call them in being able to provide a feeder service. If we take this logic and expand on it, arent you also saying.

    2. There is no such thing as a climate of fear as Catherine Lim asserts, you seem to shy away from using the term collaboration, but isnt that what you are saying darkness?

    3. If 1 and 2 is true Darkness when why doesnt it seem to affect the BP readers? We are still getting the regular updates etc. So what are you really trying to say?

    4. I wish to know when the BP will go back to regular service again?

    Janice Low

    Bukit Batok

  11. Janice Low says:

    oh Thanks SG daily!

  12. Darkness says:

    Good Evening Janice,

    1. Is TOC a govt operated site? Let me put it this way, if I was charged with mapping out the counter insurgency plan for greater blogoland, where would I put my all my chip?

    Now we ran a few simulations on a war gaming computer and in every single case, the optimal strategy is to insert ourselves squarely in an aggregating site.

    Bingo! You say, I say, hold your horses!

    As I mentioned in part 4 there are compelling reasons for doing so, but this does not mean TOC is a govt site!

    Most of the reasons are strategic cum tactical; firstly, it confers the advantage of ‘control’ which would otherwise be impossible, if it were a stand alone blog; “if I can control your destiny then you will be beholden to me.” Secondly it makes the prosecution of a long campaign efficient – “I don’t need to generate preferred material, all I need to do is to choose the preferred material.” Thirdly and this is the clincher, it allows a cohesive means to moderate material by rewarding and even sanctioning ‘unacceptable” material; “I just ignore you and treat you as dead!”

    The fact that the net will grow and continue to perpetuate is given, but how it evolves the pace, trajectory and final destination can ONLY be determined, if one is able to set the rules of the game. It’s interesting to note in the Jasper vs TOC saga, one thing did emerge very clearly; all the supporters of TOC were also those who were usually aggregated by TOC! So I believe your question should be rightly paraphrased in the following terms; can anyone afford NOT to support TOC?

    2. I was very afraid of this question, as Dr Lee warned me about it. Nevertheless, I will try to broach it; Question: did the colonial Indians collaborate with the British Empire? Understand this! Neither imperialism nor colonialism is a simple act of accumulation and acquisition. Both are supported and perhaps even impelled by an array of impressive ideological dogmas that permeates every facet of life. This is something worth impressing. I don’t believe we can really understand not fully at least the scale of imperialism with our 21st emancipated century brain, we cannot possibly and this to a large part has skewered our understanding of imperialism – what most people discount is in the vast majority of cases, third worlders who claim that imperialism was morally reprehensible are doing so very much with the benefit of hindsight; they are in essence presentist who are outside the control of the colonial mind – and what is the colonial mind? Well the only legacy that we really have is literature and here we must really ask ourselves how did the vocabulary of 19th century imperial culture become so permeated with expressions such as ‘inferior’ or ‘subject races’ ‘dependency’ ‘expansion’ ‘divide and rule.’ IMO for purely accounting purposes a large measure has to be attributed to the imperial experience itself vis-à-vis notions of form were promoted at the expense of function, culture was clarified, behavior was reinforced by zoo keeping etc. So yes, there had to be complicity and even collaboration – reading anti-colonial literature one can never ever draw that conclusion, but if one dwells deeper there were clear benefits that accrued to the colonized, if they cooperated, that I feel is the suppressed narrative in the age when nationalism has prevailed over colonialism, but its one that cannot be easily elided.

    Lets for the moment move away from everything I have said above (for a while). Now when I speak about imperialism, there’s this tendency for people to ascribe a period age to it; they automatically conjure up images of merchant & ivory films like passage to India and room with a view – nothing can be further from the truth, imperialism isn’t necessarily period hardware like the musket or sail boats, its simply a means to an end and could just as well be used this days to even control blogosphere. Let me give you an example and I have to be careful here; but consider this, Mr Raju the NLB’s director of digital resources and services, explained that one of the criteria for archival is that the selected blogs have to belong to “a representative sample that would reflect a snapshot of society”. What does he actually mean? Let have a look, out of the 11 blogs selected, not a single one of them are even anonymous bloggers, not even one! Despite the fact 85% of blogs in Singapore comprise of anonymous bloggers. So you tell me where is the ‘representative’ component there?

    I kid you not! I could sit down for a good twenty minutes and write 4 to 5 pages scissoring each of his criteria’s into ribbons! But I wouldn’t be answering your question, the issue that you really need to ask yourself is what really is Raju ‘doing?’ Let me share with you my POV, he is trying to tell you and I what his ideal of blogosphere is – a derivative of that requires you to ask a supplementary Q:Is that a form of imperialism? What’s telling abt this whole episode (to me at least, as I not a very imaginative chap) is this; not a single blogger out of 11 asked the question; “why isn’t the rest included?” Not even one; Question: did selection confer upon the NLB the power to sanction approved behavior? You go and answer that question yourself, if it is answered in the affirmative, then again, its imperialism.

    3. No comment. May I just take this opportunity to inform you that all our SLF read technology is proprietry and should never be discussed without our EXPRESS permission.

    4. No comment.

    Thank You Janice – Darkness 2008

  13. Pall Mall says:

    And having the record that he dropped out and then going back to SG and working as a clerk.

    Because he’s sure if he goes to work it’ll work out alright anyway.

    Just not in school.

  14. Pall Mall says:

    On the other end of explanations, it is actually very simple.

    For one taught to want truth for truth, when truth’s been found, there’s no reason to actually be in school to find an abstract truth.

    There is now no connection between schooling and the purpose of going to school since the old paradigm have been broken; there is I sense, a difficulty in linking “schooling” — something that he dislikes and are confused about given recent events — and “life”.

    Not just any life but his choice of life, hence his reason for going to school.

    If graduating well from schooling makes it easier for people to ensure that he can only go to a very special prison, then there’s no point and he will intentionally find a way to make sure that those people cannot get him there.

    It is quite complex, I know. He only just sorted out the elements (ie. not yet how they connect) this morning.

    A bit too late; he’s already lost A$2,000.

  15. Pall Mall says:

    The fact that some have been receiving a lot of updates in relation to visiting shopping centres as a point of interest should only be seen as a demonstration that even the “purpose of life” education as assisted by the BH was in some sense flaw because it ensued from the same perpetuators of the previous paradigm.

    So he is caught in a double-bind, in a sense.

    The strategy in retrospect should have been advising people to influence him away from the perpetuators based on a foreign paradigm.

    And then as all things original, boomerangs will just swing back when thrown correctly.

    The double-bind is that BOTH the carrot and the stick are the same; are they God or just, Manichean?

  16. KKP says:

    Pall Mall,

    Every attempt to shut the man down LOL. How much you must ALL fear him? Everytime he speaks you shut him down, disrupt and hassle.

    Why? He undo’s your plans.

    I don’t believe, I am the only person asking that question here Pall Mall.

    If you want to know this thread is breaking all records in readership in the Strangelands.

    I wonder why? LOL

    KKP

    KKP

  17. Pall Mall says:

    And there’s no disruption in this case; other times were parallel narratives.

    There’s no disruption in this case because some posts were certainly written to elicit a kind of response.

  18. KKP says:

    Why are you angry because it must be very frustrating to deal with someone who simply runs circles around you all the time. LOL

    You have no idea how you have just boosted Darkness boy’s ratings.LOL

    You ppl broke your water didn’t you? You threatened him.

    Why fear him so much, if no one reads what he writes?

    Many here are asking that question. LOL

    KKP

  19. Pall Mall says:

    If the brand promise was indeed fulfilled, where would the consternation come from?

    And if why would anyone, given the climate of fear and the lacking of a liberalisation of public space then, raise objections?

  20. orionman says:

    Dear All,

    All I see here is a man who says his piece and what does he get? Character assasination, insults and false accusations. Why so much fear over one man?

    Keep it up darkness, I will circulating this to my network of alumni.

    As for you counter insurgents, you have all been outclassed, really its no fight, its very sad when people dont know they are defeated, like a hot knife cutting through a slab of butter. No match really, not match at all.

  21. orionman says:

    ignore that crack pot. I go with darkness on this one. We can easily wade through this and still read. btw 75% of BH material is hidden in threads like this, we are really quiet used to it, so keep up the disruption, taunting and name calling. It doesn’t work, but I understand what else can these people do?

    They cannot write, all they can do is try to block. Good luck, if I can get through, who else is reading this?

    No need to even do anything Singapore Daily? Just let it be.

  22. The Singapore Daily says:

    Don’t spam. The comment box can hold quite a bit (see #1).

    Nice piece btw.

  23. shoestring says:

    Yes, let them be. In fact, the more they clown around, the more it shows they are threatened. Only that I didn’t expect them to really send in the clowns.

  24. shoestring says:

    Genuine clowns.

  25. Snow Bear II says:

    Pity them. When the truth cuts too close. They fear as their bosses will say, “why is this guy always running circles around you ppl? No bonus!”

    hahahaha :0

    Nice one SG Daily! Thanks! Darkness go!

  26. dentist jan says:

    Hi,

    A tour de force! certainly, I dont know whether you are familiar with the works of a certain K.M Panikar and Michael Adas, both have written extensively on this concept called “ecological imperialism.” Well from my understanding in between waits for patients, I gather what they are trying to say is this / be patient with me, OK, I am still in the crawling stage / the psychology of imperialism has two dsitinct levels / at the substrate level you have icons such as architecture and institutions which support the whole idea of colonization / then at a much deeper level, you have the thing that goes beneath the veneer, these are the sticky stuff like plaque, they are harder to remove from the first form and they usually take the shape of colonial culture and art like drinking tea which speaks of travels to distant lands, geography and even the study on anthropology/

    My question is it possible for the second variety of hegemony to survive intact these days? When we speak abt colonialism, I believe there are still plenty of instances when we hear abt Asian stewardess, waiters or even eateries giving special service to ang mohs and disregarding the locals.

    Why? Is colonialism at this second level really dead?

    Dentist Jan

  27. Darkness says:

    Dear Valued Readers,

    Folks, don’t sweat small stuff – regular readers of the brotherhood press. I am 100% certain are accustomed to this sort of harassment. New readers, I believe need to get up to speed on how to wade through this sort of muck racking.

    IMO that’s part and parcel of reading the BP as we have always pioneer new ways of bringing you all reads including using threads as the delivery mode.

    Let me just say this; we can never aspire to control what happens in the mind of others; its simply an exercise in futility, but we can very well control how we choose to respond to this sort of situations.

    IMO this fellow is going to slip up one day and when he does, we will deal with it – we live after all in a world of consequences.

    So let’s not worry about the small stuff as the very capable webmaster in Singapore Daily seems to be on top of the situation – to our new readers, allow me to apologize for this and I hope that this will not diminish your reading enjoyment.

    However, let us be clear, as we continue to clarify, distinguish and even reveal, it’s fair to assume the frequency of such attacks will increase – that is the nature of fear, it provokes anger and anger leads to muck racking along with making threats.

    However, I trust you will all have the wisdom to take it all in good stride.

    I have worked hard to come out with the quartology during the weekend, as many have queried concerning this topic, but I feel it is important to acknowledge my debt to many who were instrument in providing me with the knowledge – they are Montburan, LHL, Koalabear and the fine ladies in the Siglap read club, along with Harvardian et al from the BB read club, Lee.T.B and of course the ASDF team headed by the very capable Vollariane. I merely stitched it together. Do be patient with the answers, we will respond to each in turn – meanwhile may I wish you all happy reading – Thank You – Darkness 2008

  28. nook nook says:

    My question is this Darkness, if what u say is true in chapter 3 & 4, then Cat Lim’s Climate of fear is closer to the imagined? It would seems so, if colonialism featured so prominently to support empire?

    Thanks Darkness, I really appreciate this very well crafted piece. I appreciate it alot. We have all been discussing it and wish to ask for a read list?????

    ;)

  29. Darkness says:

    IS IMPERIALISM DEAD? WHERE IS IT TODAY?

    This is in response to: Dentist Jan @ 3:19 https://singaporedaily.wordpress.com/2008/03/01/sgdaily-roundup-week-9/#comment-1383

    Is Imperialism dead and gone? It would seem so, if only we care to count the number of independent sovereign flags that flutter outside the UN building.

    I presented LHL with this question; and she retorted in horror. I think what we need to ascribe a sense of scale to the whole idea of imperialism, usually it’s referred too in a historical context and we think of it as some distant country, but if one strips down imperialism as a mechanical concept right down to it’s chassis, it could just as well apply to the mundane. For example, I am a sticker for time, I rarely wait beyond the grace period of 15 minutes, not for anyone. Do I suffer from an imperial attitude? Was Raju imperial, when he proclaimed that only blogs operated by the famous and subject matter experts should be recorded? What about Catherine’s fetish to drink water straight from the tap when she travels abroad?

    Why am I throwing out these examples; to illustrate simply that the idea of imperialism doesn’t just have the capacity to operate in the macro, it can very well weave it’s way into the mundane and ordinary to even permeate governments, departments, firms and right down to coloring relationships. What you said is spot on as imperialism in the shape and form of statecraft is apparent, but what is not so evident is how it often resides in culture, simile, metaphors, anagrams and even something as commercial as Laura Ashley toiletries. On a macro level, it would appear that imperialism is dead, but here I need to qualify the conditions; when you consider most countries which have managed to attain independence are still languishing in poverty, corruption and still very much dependent on external aid; it warrants a second look beyond the cursory to tease out; why aren’t they truly emancipated? Often that requires you to ask the supplementary Q: what has replaced the instruments of imperialism? Now we all know things that work don’t just die; aid workers have been trying to grapple with more efficient ways to transport well water; but despite their best efforts they have not managed to better carrying it on the head; only because that mode pound for pound remains kinetically super efficient, even more efficient that military back packs! So we know that imperialism could NOT just have died off like the dodo. As a construct it was a highly evolved, superbly efficient and even durable for it to have survived for so long. Where did it go, we all know that even Corinthian architecture plonked itself on our padang, so where is Imperialism these days, you ask?

    I have to be careful here otherwise I get pelted to dust by some of you. Based on my discussion with LHL(not me, OK!), imperialism didn’t go anywhere, it just did a Houdini act and morphed (it’s a dirty word) these days it’s simply re-packaged instead of beach landings = regime change, draconian = zero tolerance, gun boat diplomacy = UN security council, trade concessions = globalization, British East India Co = McDonalds. Now in every instance imperialism is dressed up as something new and improved, but strip it down to its chassis, what do we get? The levers of power hasn’t really changed that much, that I believe is the main distillate which makes up a very robust formulation when we try to make sense of what is happening in and outside the net; I am not saying it supplies answers all the time, but it goes a very long way to explain what you termed as “ecological imperialism.” By that I am assuming that it’s something akin to chewing gum, it’s hard to get rid off and even when you do it still manages to leave a residue – that because unlike statecraft imperialism, ecological imperialism is imprinted in the brain.

    That could very well account for why from time to time as you mentioned we still read about irate travelers who tell us horror stories of getting treated like Bosnian refugees in SIA. How deeply rooted is it? Very I would say and I don’t have to go very far to seek out that sort of cosy “we have to stick together and put up a good show, olde boy” cosy insiderism here, I could just as well audit my own brain and tell you confidently that even I may not even be completely freely emancipated, only because I was educated and worked abroad for much of my brief life, so the ‘west’ as an instrument of imperialism has definitely permeated to color virtually every aspect of my life – Question: is this good or bad? Well first of all, I am not a big fan of identity for the sake of identity; that’s why when I regularly hear rhetoric about Singapore for Singaporeans – I am always wary, only because I know it’s leveraging on something really primal. Our neighbors the Malaysians went down that road during the 80’s, when Mahatir decided to make Bahasa the lingua franca, build the national car, Proton and link religion with politics and what did they end up with? I leave that to you.

    Likewise if we put the recent 377A debate under our microscope; we can just about tease out the various fault lines of imperialism? Here we are presented with a rather simple question whether gays have a right to knob each other? No according to the moral majority and they advance the case that it’s important for up hold values. Question: is that a form of imperialism? Communitarians will say no, because, we all know the first past the post system is premised on statistical consensus, so there you have it i.e majority rules. Liberals say ‘tarry ho!’ claiming that there is no premise to even ask that question as what two adults decide to do in the privacy of their bush is no ones business but their own. And constitutionalist would wax lyrical that privacy is an elemental right and should never be subject to consensual decision making; they reference the bill of rights; which points to the ideal, certain rights are sacrosanct and may be even be protected despite the presence of a overwhelming majority i.e the right to free of speech.

    It seems the answer lies with who is right, but IMO, these are just competing imperialistic interest; I don’t have answers here Jannifer only questions. You have raised a very delightful mystery. Thank You – Darkness.

  30. Darkness says:

    I am going to China for business. I want to see you, just once. I will wait in the rain for as long as it takes – I know you are reading this. I know.

    Please don’t disappoint me.

    Darkness 2008

  31. KKP says:

    Some of those threats made by Pall Mall are quite bad. I know most of it has already been wiped out by the webmaster, but I have a copy here. I was just wondering what are you people going to do about it?

    Who is taking over the com now that Darkness has gone off, Harphoon? Scholar Boy? Astro Boy? Hello?

  32. Harphoon says:

    KKP,

    I have taken over the com / for our new readers, it means, I have taken over his account – Darkness is current away. I think he wants to get his hands on the latest X box and he is even prepared to wait in the rain for it :).

    Let’s just remain calm, we are definitely evaluating all our options. I agree with you when threats are made in such a clear manner, it’s disconcerting.

    I believe we have a right to defend ourselves. Leave that to Nacramanga and JDAM, they are handling it.

    Let’s get back to the main debate abt “imperialism.” I hope all of you will be patient with me, I am not as quick on the draw as Darkness, but I will try my best to play ring master here.

    Cheers

    Harphoon

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